Young people and self-harm during the pandemic

Published on March 2021

New research by The Mix and YouGov shows self-harm has increased due to the pandemic

To mark Self-Harm Awareness Day (1st March), The Mix released brand-new research, carried out with YouGov which shows that self-harming behaviour has got worse for young people during the pandemic. A huge 34% of young people who have self-harmed in the past 12 months said their tendency to self-harm has increased due to coronavirus lockdowns. Of those who self-harmed at some point in their life, 38% self-harmed in the past 12 months, a 5% increase since March 2020.

Young people feel that the pandemic has prevented them from having the future and education they were hoping for. The main reasons for the increasing tendency to self-harm during lockdowns are anxiety about the future (52%) and worries about school or education (36%). This ties in with the findings that of those who had ever self-harmed, full-time students were more likely to say they had self-harmed in the past 12 months (46%) than young people who work (33%).

Access to help for self-harm has been hit. Among young people who had self-harmed in the past 12 months, 40% have not accessed any support services during this time, and 30% of 16- to 25-year-olds said they found it more difficult to get access to services.

Some 42% of young people agreed that the stigma around self-harm would discourage them from accessing services if they needed them.

63% of young people think that self-harm is not spoken about enough in the media, with those who self-harmed in the past even more likely to agree with this (67%).

To find out more, read our whitepaper: